By the Los Angeles Times
California is poised to become the first state to restrict the distribution of plastic straws at restaurants under a bill approved Thursday by lawmakers, capturing the attention of environmentalists nationwide who hope the idea, like many with origins in the Golden State, will spread across the nation.
The legislation, which would prohibit full-service, dine-in restaurants from offering plastic straws to customers unless they are requested, passed on a 45-20 vote by the Assembly and now goes to Gov. Jerry Brown for his signature.
Stopping short of an outright ban, environmentalists say they expect the bill will again make the state — which represents the world’s fifth largest economy — a trendsetter.
Its approval is the latest of several actions by California to reduce plastic pollution. In 2014, Brown signed into law a ban on single-use plastic bags at food markets, liquor stores and pharmacies. Voters rejected an effort by the bag industry to repeal that law two years later. In 2015, California lawmakers voted to ban the sale of personal care products that contain plastic microbeads starting in 2020.